Sunday, June 02, 2019

We have never even heard there is anything like the Holy Spirit.

“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” (Acts 19: 2).

Monday of the 7th week of Easter. Why did Paul ask the Christians of Ephesus this blunt and embarrassing question? Probably Paul noticed something from their questions, words and behavior that were dissonant with the experience of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Is this really the Blood of Christ? Asked a Eucharistic minister, a new convert to the Church.

How would you answer the question? “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” Not this way: “We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit,” said the new Ephesian Christians. What difference does the Holy Spirit make in your life? Which of His gifts can you claim?

1. Wisdom
2.Understanding
3. Counsel
4. Fortitude
5. Knowledge
6. Piety
7. Fear of the Lord

Without the active indwelling of the Holy Spirit, it will be impossible to avoid serious sin and to live an effective Christian life. Was this what Paul observed in Ephesus?

Pope St John XXIII must have the Holy Spirit in mind when he advised: "Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but what is still possible for you to do." (Pope St John XXIII)

Today is the feast of St Charles Lwanga and 14 companions who were martyred in 1886 and 1887 by King Mwanga of Uganda for resolutely refusing to participate in homosexual practices.

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